The Marks and Spencer experience

March 20, 1998

Alex Collins, doing an MA Hons in management and economicsat Glasgow University, didan eight-weekundergraduate management trainee placement with Marks and Spencer lastsummer. "I had high expectations for the placement because it was hard to get on to and especially because I was assigned totheir second biggest shop in Britain. But one difficulty was that we were expected to be supervising the shop floor after only a short period of time. I found it hard to tell a lady who had been working there for a long time to do something differently and sometimes I wondered where I was on their agenda."

Overall, however, Alex found the experience fruitful: "There are 600 staff and it was a good insight into how such a large management structure works.I took notes and my experiences in finance and with personnel were relevant to my course. In retrospect it was a valuable experience."

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